A good teacher will help you take your music to the next level. If possible, find someone you like and respect who will teach you the music you want to learn.
But perhaps there is absolutely no one around who can teach you. You’re in luck! there’s this thing you might have heard of called Youtube…
But you’ll need more than Youtube. You will have to be your own teacher. Otherwise, you’ll wind up treading water, chasing after one interesting thing and then another, never really getting much better.
There are a few pitfalls to learning an instrument on your own:
- Most students learn too many tunes too quickly without really learning them well.
- Most beginner students don’t play slow enough.
- Without feedback from a teacher, a beginning student runs the risk of developing poor form and technique, and not developing good practice habits.
STAY WITH ONE THING
Pay attention to where you make the same mistakes. Then pause the recording and try to work on that trouble spot. Make up exercises to help you practice the difficult parts.
If you are video recording yourself, pay attention to your form. Notice how it is different from pictures and videos you find online. Try to correct it. using a mirror for this will help.
After recording, listening and watching, try to play the piece again. Repeat the process.
Read: How to improve your fiddling through recording
- Irish tunes, new:
- Belfast hornpipe
- Kilmaley reel
- Kafi raga
- Hariprasad phrases
- GDGD tuning
- miss monaghan
- silver spear
Periodically take time to review older tunes, especially the ones you like. Do you remember them? Do they sound different now? Also review techniques you’ve studied.
Learn more about how make reviewing tunes and techniques fun:
For every tune or piece you learn, warm up with it’s related scale. Take breaks from working on the tune to practice the scale. Try to make scales fun by adding rhythms, patterns and dynamics (how loud or soft you play). Learn How To Make Scales Fun.
Once you can make it through a tune, try to focus on making it sound better. It’s like learning the song all over again. Start with the first note of the song. Make that sound as good as possible. Then the same with the second note. Then do it with the first two notes together. Keep working in this way until you have the whole first quarter (or first line) of a tune sounding nicer. Work through the tune in this way. Learn more about How To Improve Your Sound.
The most important thing to remember: PLAY EVERY DAY. I say it over and over, but can’t say it enough. This is what any decent teacher wants you to do. If you manage to have regular practice, you’ll start to figure out how to practice better. You may come up with something that I haven’t thought of. If so, let me know. I’m learning too.